DENVER (CBS4) – It was a tense situation in Denver on Christmas morning when a staff shortage caused the Autumn Heights Care Center to call 911 for help. Saturday morning paramedics were called to the nursing home located at 3131 S Federal Blvd.
A source close to the case says there was 1 nurse for 50 patients. The Denver Department of Health and Environment could not confirm these figures but said there was a staff shortage.
According to the source, the nurse has requested that residents be transferred to local hospitals due to COVID. Signs on the door to the health center say they have an outbreak of COVID, and the Colorado State Joint Information Center confirmed that an outbreak was first reported at that facility on December 18. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment outbreak team worked with the to mitigate and treat the outbreak.
The DDPHE says they are aware of a COVID outbreak but did not believe the call for help was related to it. They say that after talking to paramedics on site, evacuating patients would not be a solution. The Denver Health Paramedic Division provided medical assistance at the facility.
Working through a recruiting agency, DDPHE and the facility called staff to arrive at 2 p.m. Saturday. An ambulance remained on site until early afternoon to help until the arrival of emergency nurses.
The Colorado Joint Information Center said it has been in contact with Autumn Heights to ensure it has sufficient staff and is providing staff through the State Staffing Fusion Center. They say the state’s Staffing Shortage Fusion Center will continue to work with the facility to determine next steps.
No patient was taken to hospital. CBS 4 contacted the retirement home but received no response.